We are working with Reading Borough Council to launch two new self-guided audio trails celebrating Reading’s heritage.
We caught up with local artist Aundre Goddard to find out more about his audio trail. Aundre worked with Richard Bentley to bring to life the sounds and story of Huntley & Palmers, one of Britain’s most famous biscuit companies, whose first shop opened on London Street in 1822.
Can you tell us more about the Audio Trail? What are the key themes, stories and sounds that you are exploring?
The audio trail highlights what Huntley & Palmers meant to those who worked there. It feels right to focus on their memories. It was a delight interviewing ex-employees too . . . Peggy and Shirley had me in stitches; I couldn’t stop laughing.
What do you hope audiences will experience from doing the Audio Trail?
I hope audiences feel a deeper connection with Huntley & Palmers workers. They contributed a great deal to the people of Reading.
What is your relationship to Reading and how has this influenced your approach to this project?
The only time I have spent away from Reading was when I went off to university. I love this town and the people in it. My granma was the inspiration for this artwork. She worked at Huntley & Palmers and passed away before I started creating this audio trail, so I was influenced by her and women workers.
What’s your favourite thing that you’ve discovered about Reading & this area during the creation of this audio trail?
Oh, that has to be the women protesters who threw machinery into the River Kennet. I think they are amazing role models.
And what is the most unusual or interesting sound that audiences can expect to hear during the walk?
Oh my, I quite like the sound of the biscuit tin being opened. It reminds me of Christmas time where mum goes the extra mile with a tin of fancy biscuits.
How would you describe the experience to someone who has never done something like this before?
I would describe it as a theatre experience. The trail is an entertaining way for young people to learn about Reading’s rich history. It has a little something for everybody.
The audio trails are commissioned by Reading Borough Council. Produced by Sound UK in association with Readipop and Berserk Productions.
The commission is part of the Reading High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme, led by Historic England and Reading Borough Council.
Photo credit: James John